Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Not colonial, not yet decolonial: thinking through recognition in Amsterdam's Tropenmuseum  
Vittoria Caradonna (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at the relationship between Amsterdam's Tropenmuseum and the Black Archives: a neighbouring grassroots archive focusing on colonial legacies. Can this proximity engender a space for recognition beyond the 'incorporative project' of neoliberal multiculturalism?

Paper long abstract:

This paper seeks to explore the question of what would representation and recognition look like in a museum committed to more than symbolic decolonisation.

While at present several museums in Europe have started to grapple with their colonial histories, fewer are reasoning in terms of 'coloniality within': the practices and procedures through which the institution produces and replicates structural inequality. Not all museums possess the same resources and competences, therefore calls for decolonisation have resulted in a multiplicity of responses - some more coherent than others.

In addition, the gap between symbolic and material decolonisation is not closing: while the demands for better representation and real recognition are turned into buzzwords, what remains confined to the margins of the debate is the redistribution not of 'multicultural belonging' but of actual 'belongings' (Tandiwe Myambo 65) - meaning for instance that while most cultural institutions strive for a more diverse audience, almost none creates the conditions for long-term and sustainable diversity within their staff.

Using findings from my fieldwork at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, I look at how this ethnographic museum is formulating its own definition of decolonial practices. In particular, this paper will examine the museum's relationship with the Black Archives, a neighbouring grassroots archive focusing on colonial legacies and anti-racist activism. What does this proximity mean for the museum? Can it engender a space for recognition beyond what Povinelli calls the 'incorporative project' of neoliberal multiculturalism?

Panel P179
Curating the (post)colonial in Europe and beyond
  Session 1 Wednesday 22 July, 2020, -